Caps on charging developers to stifle infrastructure: Mayor

TOOWOOMBA Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said he was still concerned about the newly introduced infrastructure charge reforms which have resulted in caps placed on how much councils can collect from developers.

Cr Antonio, who was speaking at an Urban Development Institute of Australia breakfast in Brisbane on Friday, said there were some good initiatives being used by other councils to reduce infrastructure charges to ensure ratepayers do not wear the costs.

There is currently a maximum cap councils can charge for infrastructure on new developments, but council across the state claim that by limiting the amount they can charge developers for infrastructure like water, sewerage, storm water, roads and parks will restrict their capacity to provide it in the future.

"We budgeted for some $3 million in forgone infrastructure charges to get some infield happening," he said.

"In the end we spent something like $9 million in forgone fees.

"But we have something in the order of $300 million in economic activity as a result.

"We got what we wanted and we are using our infrastructure better."

Cr Antonio told more than 200 business and industry leaders that Toowoomba was in a position like the city had never seen before.

"Toowoomba is dealing with a rapid expansion," he said.

"We are a service city and have been for all of its life.

"We have seen many companies and businesses move to the city to service the Surat Basin."

The government claims that by introducing a long-term infrastructure planning and charges framework it would support local government's financial sustainability and boost development investment throughout the state